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College Football Playoff Predictions: 2017

Jack Corcoran and Cameron McHugh

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This year’s college football season is coming to a close, and it is almost time for bowl games, conference championships, and the college football playoffs. At the beginning of the year, all teams hope that they can make it, but not all can. Now, at this point, since there have been a few weeks of college football playoff rankings issued there has been a definite rift between contenders and pretenders.

Comet staff members Jack Corcoran and Cameron McHugh each offer their top 6 teams and analysis. Jack Corcoran:

1. Alabama- While this year they have shown some weaknesses, particularly in the games against LSU and Mississippi State, Nick Saban’s machine keeps churning out 200 yard running backs and stingy defenses. Committee members are worried about their strength of schedule and their injuries at the linebacker spot, and for good reason, as they have struggled at certain points in the year; however, they are still the SEC frontrunners with tough road tests like Auburn pending.

2. Oklahoma- While their defense is certainly an issue, the offense, helmed by Heisman frontrunner Baker Mayfield, is among the best in the country, and their road win at Ohio State looks better and better every single week. They recently won a shootout over Oklahoma State, and last week they demolished No. 6 TCU at home. A Big 12 Championship berth awaits.

3. Miami- After squashing the No. 3 Notre Dame 41-8, any doubts about the Canes have been erased. Their defense is crazy fast, dominating one of the best offensive lines in the country, and holding Heisman candidate Josh Adams to only 40 yards. The Turnover Chain makes the fans go crazy. An ACC Championship berth awaits.

4. Clemson- While their loss to a now 4-6 Syracuse looks worse and worse by the week, Clemson keeps on winning games. During September, in which they beat three top 15 teams, they still seemed to hold a lot of weight among the committee. With the health of QB Kelly Bryant still an issue, their defense is still loaded with enough talent to carry them into a matchup with Miami in the ACC Championship.

5. Wisconsin- As their strength of schedule definitely deserves to be called into question, the Badgers have flat-out dominated every single opponent they have faced. Last weekend, they faced No. 20 Iowa, fresh off a 55-24 drubbing of Ohio State. Freshman Jonathan Taylor, a Heisman trophy contender, ran for 157 on the day en route to a 38-14 win. Look for them to make a major statement against Michigan.

6. Auburn- While their blown lead against LSU is alarming, a team fresh off of beating No. 1 Georgia 40-17 should definitely be among the best in the country. If they can beat Alabama in the Iron Bowl and then win the SEC Championship, it will be hard to keep an Auburn team with this type of resume out of the playoff.

Cameron McHugh

1. Alabama – Alabama is no doubt the favorite to win yet another championship. Every year, Alabama is the favorite heading into the season. They could have very well won the championship last year after blowing the lead to Clemson. Many of their starters have

returned from last year, and others were brought in to replace them. Alabama has a great chance to win the championship.

2. Miami – After squashing Notre Dame 41-8, Miami has shown great promise on offense with multiple targets who can make big plays. The offense has been led by solid dual threat QB play from Malik Rosier. A strong performance from committee of RBs led by Travis Homer has helped carry them to an undefeated record

3. Clemson – Coming off of a championship season, the Clemson Tigers have impressed at points during the season and have also been somewhat disappointing. Quarterback play has been very good when he was healthy, but health has been a real issue. They will have to match up with Miami in the ACC Championship game that very well may decide who is in and who is out of the playoff.

4. Oklahoma – Quarterback Baker Mayfield is once again showing the country why he is one of the best players in the country and deserving of a 1st round pick. After beating #2 Ohio State in Week 2, 31-16, they got a scare from now 1-9 Baylor but still won the game by 8. Their only loss this season came from unranked Iowa State, but they have won out since then, and they are the presumed Big 12 champions once again.

5. Wisconsin – According to the Playoff committee, wins are important. This season has been a very special season for the Badgers as they have not lost a game yet. They have won almost all of their games by two scores or more and have averaged a whopping 36.6 points per game while only allowing 13.4. Their offense has been led by a powerful running back core led by freshman Jonathon Taylor.

6. Auburn – The upcoming Iron Bowl will play a large impact as to whether or not Auburn makes the College Football Playoff. A strong rushing attack has led the Auburn Tigers to

this point in the year with over 2,500 yards. Their only two loses came against Clemson where they only lost by 8, and when they were upset at home by LSU. Other than those two loses, Auburn has won their games handedly and very well may sneak their way into the Playoff.

This season has brought up many different teams that have a chance to make it into the college football playoffs. Only four of these teams can make the playoffs, while the others will have to settle for bowl games. Both of these projections show how divided that the committee can be when selecting their final four teams. Any loss or win could cause the whole face of the playoff and college football as a whole.

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College Football Playoff Predictions: 2017